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As world leaders prepare to gather in France for the 2015 United Nations Conference on Climate Change next week, global warming -- and how to stop it -- is a hot topic.

To limit climate change, experts say that we need to reach carbon neutrality by the end of this century at the latest. To achieve that goal, our dependence on fossil fuels must be reversed. But what energy source will take its place? Researchers from Concordia University in Montreal just might have the answer: blue-green algae.

In a study published in the journal Technology, a team led by Concordia engineering professor Muthukumaran Packirisamy describe their invention: a power cell that harnesses electrical energy from the photosynthesis and respiration of blue-green algae.

"Both photosynthesis and respiration ... involve electron transfer chains. By trapping the electrons released by blue-green algae during photosynthesis and respiration, we can harness the electrical energy they produce naturally," says Packirisamy.

Why blue-green algae? Because it's everywhere.

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